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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  September 25, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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>> rose: welcome do the program. we begin with the story of the end of the siege at the shopping mall in nairobi, kenya. here is scott pelley and the "cbs evening news." i >> it was hard to tell the siege was over. gunfire and explosions rang out again today. an army sniper kept his gun trained on the mall from a nearby construction site and kenyan troops were stationed on the perimeter and roof tops while helicopters flew overhead throughout the day. inside, groups of kenyan soldiers continued to comb the 350,000 square foot shopping complex floor by floor. kenya's president said that in part of the mall three stories
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had collapsed during the military operations and he warned that bodies are still trapped under the rubble. still, he addressed the nation tonight saying "kenya had stared down evil and triumphed." >> we have ashamed and defeated our attackers. that part of our task has been completed i by our multiagency security team. >> he said he could not confirm intelligence reports that suggested two or three americans may have been among the attackers. according to the red cross, at least 65 people are still unaccounted for. city morgues are preparing for the worst. we found volunteers had been working around the clock since saturday's massacre. >> and the bodies were stacking up. actually, they were building up a pyramid and we had to do something. >> this engineer told us the hardest part is when he had to end to the body of a nine-year-old boy who died in
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his mother's arms. >> i watched the boy, i cleaned him up. i wrapped anymore a cloth. >> rose: we continue with the president of somalia who is visiting the united nations general assembly. he is hassan sheikh mohamud. >> al-shabaab has been weakened but their threat is still imminent and is still in existence. and the war that we face now, one phase is ending soon which is the militant front. a new phase like this, you know, this people are defeated military and hand picking them up from the society is another very, very difficult part of the war which only the local security forces can do. in somalia, that's where we are right now. but al-shabaab has links. this is an ideology.
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>> rose: we continue with a rare conversation with former president bill clinton and former vice president al gore. i spoke with them at the clinton global initiative here in new york. >> i still believe that we're going to do the right thing before calamity hits the earth. but we're pushing it. and i believe there are lots of economically attractive ways to fight climate change that we have ignored. and i don't think we -- one of the things that althoughs a ton more about than i do is how to calculate the real price of what we're doing now. >> rose: the president of somalia, hassan sheikh mohamud and former president of the united states bill clinton and the former vice president of the united states al gore when we continue.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. captioning sponsored by >> this is the threat of al-shabaab to the region and to the world at large.
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we send our condolences to the kenyan government. >> rose: hassan sheikh mohamud is here to address the general assembly. his administration is the first recognized government in somalia in over 20 years. they're facing piracy, corruption and terrorism by islamic militants like al-shabaab. that group claimed responsibility for this weekend's shopping mall attack in kenya's capital, nairobi, which killed more than 60 people. al-shabaab claimed the response was to the response of the kenyan military presence in smol i'm pleased to have the president here at this table for the first time. welcome. >> we -- >> thank you. >> rose: we have reports from kenya that government troops have taken control of the shopping mall and that there are i think what was five or six terrorists killed and some 12 in custody according to the "new york times" report that i read. can you tell me more about what
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happened and what we know? >> well, what happened is that al-shabaab has always been a threat to somalia, to the region and the world at large. so this is part of a campaign that they took recently in somalia where they have killed a lot of innocent people in their courthouse in mogadishu, in a calf fear where journalists use to take their morning coffee before they go to the office. and this is another horrific incident that took place so al-shabaab is an ideology. the ideologys have no citizenship. they come across the world and the problem somalia faces todayd is because they base in the somalia but their actions, their organization, their ideology is
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global and their principles of fighting global jihadism. so what we know is that they have been doing this for one reason which is they're still leaving and they are continuing to do the work. that is what they're doing because killing innocent people in situation like that has no meaning at all. >> rose: do you think this represents this attack? represents a new strategy, them going back to pure terrorism? >> and not trying to focus on extending their power in somalia? >> no, i don't think it's a new strategy as such. this is just proving that they are existing when they lost the ground. there's no -- in a major city or important area that they're controlling in somalia right now. they remain in remote areas.
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so since that bombing increasing it's just trying to show the world or their supporters that they're still existing. it is the last move of -- >> rose:. >> rose: do you believe they are a dead organization? >> they are dying. they are dying. in somalia soon there will not be a territory controlled by al-shabaab. it's now in remote areas. >> rose: some will argue the control of the central government-- which you had-- does not control that much territory beyond mogadishu. >> most of the 161 counties was under control of al-shabaab. today there are remaining only two major towns that al-shabaab are controlling and the rest of the territory is controlled by the somali government in support with the african union mission.
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>> rose: i'll come back to that in a moment but i want to come back to what happened today in nairobi. can you tell me what event lead to the conclusion of this siege there the mall? >> well, we would like to hear the details from the final statement that the government of kenya will produce soon. but what we snow that more than a dozen groups of these terrorists were occupied at the mall and for three days they have been kidnapping people. so -- the aim was -- this was not a military target, not an economic target. this is a commercial place where civilian people use it to go shopping. so this is too far what has happened in the court in somalia
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or in mogadishu. all of them is just showing the people that they are still fighting. they are not fighting and they use it to fight of the militant. so we know nature of this (inaudible) into the society staying there inside of the road and then (inaudible). >> rose: so they killed more than 60, at least more than a dozen have been either captured or killed -- of the attackers. do you know whether there were any americans among the al-shabaab who undertook this siege and the killing of more than 60 people at the shopping mall? were there any americans? >> so far what we are hearing is there are somali americans who are included in it but we don't have the details yet. it's only then will we know.
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>> rose: how long will it snake will the kenyan government do that? >> of course the kenyan government will do that? >> rose: how long will it take them identify the al-shabaab members? because they have some in custody they can interrogate. >> al-shabaab, first of all, they claimed they are responsible for the mat sore there's no question of being whether or not al-shabaab. but the details of these criminals and who are they, where they come, that's a matter of time until the kenyan government will improve. we are expecting that soon (inaudible). >> rose: so what will you say in your speech at the u.n. on thursday. what's the story that you want us to know-- not us, but the world community and the united nations members? >> first of all, this is the first time i'm addressing the general assembly of the united nations. it's my first year in my term
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and i brought thing to share the world with somalia and where it came from but i want to share the world to give the contribution this time around somali is moving towards that -- towards the right direction and the fact that what has been done in the last one syria building the foundations in place so that a different somalia will energy the next couple of years. so i'd like to share with the whoorld we are planning to do on the challenges we have in place and see if the support -- seek the support of the world to end once and for all this dark hole that exists in that part of the world. >> rose: it should be pointed out that you remain in somalia when others left somalia because of the nature of the conflict there. you stayed as an academic and
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then, without any political experience were elected president. >> rose: >> you're right. not only i stayed there, millions of somalis who stayed inside somalia. i was one of them. on the other hand, i don't think there is one person in this world who got enough experience for 22 years of statelessness. >> rose: statelessness. >> statelessness, lacking a functional state institution. so i don't see anyone whom i can say would have been a better position than me the difficult times of somalia. >> rose: corruption. where are you in terms of ridding your country of corruption? >> first of all in a country like somalia anything can be expected but i respectfully
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disagree. many of our partners who claim that somalia is a [no audio] in the world. what i would like to see is that somalia, there is a capacity limitation in running state institutions but a corruption as such i will not. and when we seek opinions to investigate the matter and specialize it and legal experts investigated the corruption issue of somalia, the outcome, i hope you have seen it is that there is a capacity limitation. there is a (inaudible) proper procedures have not flowed because of lack of knowledge. lack of experience. but the corruption as such was intentionally not there as much. so i would have agreed that
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somalia -- i do not deny there might be a level of misuse of resources but it's mainly do to capacity limitation but not corruption as such. and my government has put a policy in place whereby the somali government is a zero-tolerance corruption and that's why we make top priority for the reform of the public institutions in somalia. >> rose: but transparency international, as you know, put somalia over the last six years-- and you've only been in power for a year-- at the bottom of the list for transparency and those kinds of values that you'd like to see. >> yes. that's true on transparency somalia has been in that position but the reality is that corruption is the intentional misuse of tools and instruments
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that are in place. when the tools and instruments are not there in place then i hardly question how someone has mentioned the level of corruption. right now we are inviting and we are in the process of calling transparency international to see what's going on in the ground. >> rose: how many troops are on the ground in somalia? >> there are 17,600. >> rose: will they stay? is it necessary they stay? >> today yes it's necessary that they stay. >> rose: and if they don't stay, what? al-shabaab will come back in power? will begin to make inroads back in terms of the amount of territory they control? >> no, but i would say somalia to be free from al-shabaab will take long years if the am sung forces are not there. >> rose: do you think they will stay? >> they will, they will stay. >> rose: there's also piracy.
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is that more under sdplol >> i would like to see somalia has been in that part of the world for thousands of years and we have no one time, no history of piracy at all until that part since the existence of somalia this is the only time somali people have taken to the seas and there are root causes that made this to happen. now, in the last one year we worked very hard from our part to engage the community leaders and they have put a lot of pressure into the seas so the piracy started from the ground and that's into the ground in land. the challenge that the somali
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government right now is facing is how can we make sure that these boys will not venture see again the ocean. we k we provide them an alternative way of life? >> rose: can you? >> yes. and that's what what the somali government is working. we have been offering those boys training so that they can have an alternative way of life other than turning to seas. >> rose: the u.s. acknowledged your government. the international monetary fund announced it was recognizing your government after more than a 20-year break in its relationship. what else do you need? >> well, it was very, very important and crucial for somalia for the united states government and followed by many other international countries,
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europeans, africans. so today we have a legitimate state that we can different the interest of somali people in the world. that's absolutely very, very important and crucial diplomatic step but that does not means that that the problems of somalia have been raising at all in the face of the challenge that we're facing. subpoena but this recognition going back into the international financing institutions helps a lot somalia we've concluded the first somali conference that has been presented somali compact as a new deal in process whereby more than $2 billion u.s. have been pledged. so without that recognition this conference would have never taken place. so somalia is moving gradually
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and coming back into the right position of the somali people into the world community. >> rose: because al-shabaab is primarily located in somalia before you began making inroads against them you ought to be an expert on al-shabaab. you ought to know a lot more than most people because you've been fighting them on the ground people look at them and they hear about other al qaeda affiliated groups in africa e. give us your assessment of the threat, whether it's yemen, somalia, somewhere else. >> al qaeda threat and its offshoots are still very serious in many parts of the world, particularly in the horn of africa. al-shabaab has been weakened but their threat is still imminent
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and still -- it exists. and the war -- one phase is ending soon, which is the military front. a new phase like this, you know, these people learn they are defeated militarily, they melt down into the society and then hand picking them up from the society is very, very difficult part of the war the which only the local security forces can do. in somalia, that's where we are right now. but al-shabaab has links. i said this is an ideology and ideologies has no cities. there's a link between al-shabaab and the boka haram in nigeria which is another part of the african continent. >> rose: how much of this -- anybody who knows might be influenced of who they are and
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who they are and what it is you have to do to make sure that their ideology does not prevail? >> this is an ideology which uses multifaceted approach in the society and its eradication has to be also a multi-- use multiapproaches. it is economic. poverty has a greater role. >> rose: poverty? >> poverty, yes. there are a lot of young boys and girls who join al-shabaab not because of their believing their ideology but because for them to get $100 at the end of the month. >> rose: what will be the consequences? because some will argue that in terms of the goals of terrorism this attack in nairobi achieve exactly what they wanted. the world's attention was focused on the group.
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we're all talking about them. i'm talking to you about them. that's what innocent, isn't it? >> yes, that's what they want. ment particularly at this time in their situation in the ground in somalia and in the horn of africa. what they want is to show the world that they are still existing, why they're existing now. so it is -- it needs a compounded effort of the region and the world at large to eradicate and their eradication is not only military, it's economic and there have been a conference in somalia by more than 200 religious scholars, telling the somali people that what al-shabaab is doing has nothing to do with islam and the religion. so that fatwa has also shaken them and that's part of the war. >> rose: that's the war of ideas and ideology.
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>> ideology, yes. >> rose: are there in any way repercussions, say, on the -- will this attack in which people died at a shopping mall, 60 or more than 60 in effect relationship between kenya and somalia. >> i don't think that it will affect -- it will affect in a positive way, it will only make our relationship more cohesive and more binding. we share it together whenever there is a catastrophe happens in somalia the president and the people of kenya shared it with them. somalia has a stand with kenya on this difficult hours. i've been talking with the president of kenya many times during siege and i'm going to visit ten ya to share and the smol will community as a whole in mogadishu, they shared with
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them, the somali community living in kenya they shared with the government by donating blood by donating resources to the people that have been affected so it makes us more cohesive and more cooperating. it doesn't commit suspicion or finger pointing because we have this experience of this type of things. once it happens another thing that they would have liked is that somalia and kenya quarreling on the causes and the -- of this incident but that's not the case. we are getting through that more and more. >> rose: mr. president, thank you for coming. >> thank you very much. >> rose: we'll watch carefully your speech on thursday. >> thank you, thank you. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. >> at first i didn't think al was going to be able to come then he had to come to new york for something else so he said he had to come by.
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then he had this interview, then we started talking about climate change and this u.n. report that's coming up in a few days. and one thing led to another and here we are. >> rose: today i sat down with former president bill clinton and former vice president al gore for their first interview in years. the interview was about the environment-- because that is the passion of vice president gore-- so the two of them sat down and we had a conversation about the environment and climate change and a few other issues. here is that conversation. >> we do talk a lot. >> rose: about everything? >> uh-huh. but especially about all this energy business. first of all, when i can't figure out what's going on i call him and he explains it to me. >> i try. >> and i just try to go around trying to figure out howing-to-put together projects that will work.
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but it's a fascinating issue and i -- you know, i still believe that we'll do the right thing before calamity hits the earth but we're pushing it. i believe there are lots of economically attractive ways to fight climate change that we have ignored and i don't think we -- one of the things althoughs a ton more about than i do is how to calculate the real price of what we're doing now, especially carbon monoxide. but i think we live a world where those of us who want to fight climate change are expected to pay all the costs up front. those who want to keep the old energy economy can spread their cost out over 20 years and they get the benefit of all these so-called exeternal thys like air pollution and people not being able to breathe and our children having asthma, it's not priced on them at all. and that's what i was talking to him about.
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>> rose: it's a good time to turn to you, mr. vice president. where are we and what is going on and what are the trends and how do you see? >> well, first of all, charlie, they gave me this mic because i don't think this one is picking it up. but first of all, i want to say what everybody here also knows, that president clinton and his team have been doing a great job in trying to address the issue that we're talking about here and i compliment him on that. there are lots of things going on, two in particular. the big trend toward increasing global warming pollution is still accelerating. and, you you know, a few years ago people were talking about china imminently surpassing the u.s. and n carbon emissions. now they're double. the u.s. and china and india have really been supercharging their colburning.
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but both of them are beginning to take stock of the cost. and the cost of carbon is being paid by all of us partly in the form of these climate-related extreme weather events. look at boulder, colorado, last week. look at my hometown, nashville, three years ago. thousands of my neighbors lost their homes and businesses and none of them had insurance because it had never flooded in those areas. they called it a once in a thousand year flood. look at the fires in the west. look at the pakistan flood. look at the russian drought and fires that put food prices at an all-time high. so we're paying the price, the cost of carbon. look at superstorm sand glee this city. but our economic system, our market system, does not contain a price on carbon pollution so it is effectively invisible in our economical collations. it's an exeternalty, that's the buzz word that people know and so we need to put a price on
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carbon. we also in the political system need to put a price on denial because a lot of the biggest polluters are stealing a page from the tobacco industry's play book, you know, remember, they hired actors and dressed them up as doctors and paid them lie into the camera saying they were doctors and there were no problems with cigarettes. well, 40 years later people finally came to their senses. the large carbon polluters are trying to undermine the science. and what president clinton just said about the i.p.c.c. report coming out friday, you know that they have geared up with tons of money and lobbyists to try to play the world for a fool again. but lincoln's aphorism applies and when people feel and understand these extreme weather events, they're way more common and way more severe than they used to be. and even people who don't want to get into a discussion about global warming are looking and
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noticing and saying "we have to do something about this." here's the good news. the other thing that's happening is the price of renewable electricity from solar photovoltaics and wind is coming down the way the computer chip prices came down even as the performance increased. and there are billions of people in the world now that live in regions where you can get electricity from solar and wind at a price cheaper than you can get it from coal and the average of conventional electricity. and the more we use the cheaper it gets. but the more coal and oil we use the more expensive it gets. so we are on the cusp of a tremendous change. we need policy. people can change lightbulbs and that's important, but we need to change laws and policies to put a price on carbon. >> rose: okay, the price is going down because of scale and because of what? >> well, it's going down because of scale, yes. let me give you an example. years ago-- i've always been kind of an early adopter on technology. there's several of us.
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and i remember knocking on the door of a friend, tom downey, one of my best friends in the congress, and he'd -- we'd have dinner together in summers when congress was in and so one time i got one of these early mobile phones that looked like a big brick, you remember? and i thought it was so cool. i look back at those pictures and i think "that looks so stupid." but i had one of those deals and i said "what about dinner tonight?" and he said "come on over. when are you going to get here?" right on that time i knocked on the door and he opened the door and it was like the old "saturday night live" wild and crazy guys. whoa! but that's the way we thought about them at that time. at that time there were market projections of how quickly that technology would spread throughout the world. those projections were not only wrong, they were way, way wrong. why? because the quality continued to improve as the price continued to go down and the decisions to
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purchase were not in the hands of a utility or a gatekeeper guarding a bottleneck. individuals and individual business people could do it. same thing is true with solar and wind. and the projections that were made ten years ago have not only been wrong, they are way, way wrong in many countries, 20x wrong. it's spreading rapidly. and as -- you know, there's a big difference between 32 degrees and 33 degrees. or 0 and 1 degrees in celsius. it's the difference between ice and water. there's a big similar difference between renewable electricity that sells above the cost of coal electricity and renewable electricity that sells below the cost. that's a big difference. and as we're crossing that threshold at the same time people become more aware of the costs we're paying for carbon we are on the threshold of breaking through to a low carbon economy that's going to create millions
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of jobs put new energy into the system. i'm optimistic about this but we need a policy shift. >> rose: has this country -- is it doing today all that it should do to lead the way? >> no, but i think in fairness to the president and to the people in congress who understand this they may be doing by now all they can do. >> rose: because of the politics of the -- >> yeah. and the e.p.a. has been it's been held that they do have the right to regulate carbon emissions in the atmosphere and gina mccarthy, the new e.p.a. administrator, has a plan to do that. president in copenhagen tried to get an agreement to set up a finance facility.
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the problem is they have to come up with the money up front and then the benefits are free and the energy is free. so he tried to do that. i think the world bank is going to take the lead on that now and i think they'll be -- the united states will have a chance to do that. a lot of states have got good laws. it's very interesting. texas condemn this is but they produce more than electricity from wind than all but six countries in the world. and they act like it's a bad deal but actually it's a good deal. so it's very interesting to see who's part of this and who's not i'm trying to get puerto rico which has a cost of 36 cents a kilowatt hour which is -- new york's the highest price in america. 13.39. that's kilowatt hour costs.
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all the caribbean countries are between 61 cents including the virgin islands which means we can install solar and wind without subsidies at a profit and set up a model, if you will, for other places and in america in some states we have good incentives for building it. so the answer is no, we're not doing all we should do but we may be doing all we can do politically. >> how will natural gas change the dynamic of the equation? >> it already has. the renewable energy industry with the shale gas boom and the chinese juggernaut pushing the price of solar and wind here in the u.s. and the failure of policy at copenhagen which was teed up by the failure of the u.s. senate to pass it earlier
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in '09 but the shale gas bubble of enthusiasm is beginning to lose some of its momentum for several reasons. popular resis sense increasing. the demands for water and many areas the average shale gas shell requires five million gallons of water and in northern china, northern india, the american southwest it can't go on. in europe the popular resis sense a real problem. some of if companies from the just pulled out of poland even though they have a huge resource they believe there. shall gays, there's two mathematical equations, forgive me, but they're pretty stark. one is gas has only half c.o.-2 of coal. so as they transition fuel while we're phasing out coal and while renewables are getting cheaper and better it does make sense.
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here's the other equation. each molecule of natural gas or methane, each gram of methane molecules is 72 times as powerful a similar amount of c.o.-2 in trapping heat over a 20 year period and a hugely more powerful over a longer period. so even if a little bit leaks, it wipes out the advantage all these things together along with water pollution is slowing things down. it has a trol play. but the enthusiasts who think it will change the world forever, i think they're almost certainly wrong. and remember gas is now selling in asia at four "new york times" the u.s. and they're about to complete these big l.n.g. export terminals. they started them years ago as import terminals and there's an arbitrage. they're going to take advantage of the chance to sell it at a
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huch higher price in the rest of the world. which means our prices here are going to go up but the shale gas revolution is powerful, significant, it won't solve this problem. people stay glass is half full instead of half empty. the problem is the atmosphere is completely full. we have accumulated amount of global warming pollution up there now traps as much heat everyday, extra heat, as would be released by 400,000 hiroshima atomic bombs going off every 24 hours. it's a big planet but that's a lot of energy. that's putting way more water vapor into the sky, making downpours and floods bigger, making the winds of the ocean-based storms stronger, melting the ice and raising sea level, moving tropical diseases into the temperate zones crop failures. the list of horribles is long but the list of opportunities to address it is equally long if we
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have the political will to seize them and political will is a renewable resource. (laughter) (applause) >> that's a good line! i wish i thought of that. >> rose: that's the first thing i thought. that's a great line. you both travel around the world and china, for example, would argue for a why would they would say, look, you guys in the west had an opportunity for industrial development. give us some slack here. it seems now that the problem of pollution is the driving force by their change rather than -- >> well, the chinese going to make a lot more money and create a lot more jobs by leading the transition to a clean energy economy and energy efficient economy than they are continuing where we're going. >> rose: do they have more incentive than we do? >> yeah, they can't breathe. (laughter) there are uprisings in china now because people are scared to send their kids outside.
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they don't want their kids to walk to school. when people get a certain amount of income now they try to find a private school because they have enclosed bubble-like recreational facile cities the kids will be able to breathe without having their lungs polluted the yellow river is already dry at certain times of the year and the chinese built this big engineering strategy of having two canal us there yangtze, even the engineers, not just the greenpeace people are saying you have to do something, this will dry both rivers. and i think china may become -- look at all these demonstrations. they may become the most environmentally active country on the planet because they can't breathe in beijing and other places >> the life expectancy in northern china just because of air pollution has been cut five and a half years. as president clinton said the political instability which the
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communist party cares about more than practically anything else -- >> rose: survival. >> -- is worrying them a great deal. they just announced two weeks ago no new coal plants in the three areas that have the worst air pollution. no new coal plants. they announced that they are instituting a cap-and-trade program which people became allergic to over here but it makes sense. a cap-and-trade program in five cities and two regions and they announced it's a pilot for a nationwide cap-and-trade program in less than two years. some are skeptical they will follow through on that. but xi jinping their new president, i went back and pulled all his speeches-- my staff did, and got them translated. it's amazing. this guy appears to understand this extremely well. yes, they're still burning more coal. they simultaneously produce more coal and import more coal than any other country in the world but they're coming to grips with
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it, razz others. india has put a tax on coal. and they're upping their targets for renewable energy this revolution toward a economy is picking up speed all over the world. now here in this country the conversation hadn't been won yet because the denialists are -- it's kind of like a family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage wherever alcohol is mentioned so the rest of the family learns to just keep quiet and never mention elephant in the room to keep the peace to avoid the furor and anger. and a lot of media outlets are scared to death to mention the word climate. it's beginning to change a little bit but they -- you know, they get attacked by all these digital -- >> rose: bloggers and everyone.
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>> yeah! >> rose: but it's beginning to change. now in this country there are four anti-climate lobbyists for every single in the house and senate when that bill was taken up in '09 and '10. billions of dollars are being spent, like that tobacco companies and it has an impact. in arkansas and tennessee we both use this story if you see a turtle on a fence post you can be sure it didn't get there by itself. laugh (laughter) the fact that the number of people who get question marks in their mind has been going up, it's not an accident. that didn't happen by itself. but it's beginning to move in the other direction because mother nature is way more powerful when she pex up than any of these lobbyists. >> rose: but before i come back to the president. this question was raised after sandy is between climate change
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and climate reality. is it a direct one to one or what in terms of what we experienced in weather? >> very simple. on october 29, 2012, last year, in the period immediately before superstorm sandy the atlantic ocean directly off new york and new jersey was nine degrees fahrenheit warmer than the average. now, what puts more energy into the winds of these ocean-based storms is the energy coming out of the ocean. we see weather fore canes saying this area is small but it's passing over warmer water. well, because of the global temperatures going up there's been more water vapor evaporated into the sky, 4% more in 30 years.
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and that's not just above above the area where the rain falls. these storms reach out 2,000 kilometers and funnel it toward where the drain is pulled. if you have a bathtub full of water and open the drain, the water doesn't come just from the part of the tub directly above the drain, it comes from the whole tub. and these atmospheric basins of water vapor are way fuller now. and you get stronger winds and more water vapor. the year before superstorm sandy we had irene. when my movie came out a few years ago, the single most vitriolic critiques were against the part of the movie that showed an animation of the world trade center memorial site filling up with ocean water as sea level rose and the tomorrow storm surges got bigger. they said "that's ridiculous, how demagogic will s that?" well, it happened years before it was scheduled to and it's happening around the world. these extreme temperature events are 100 times more common than
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they were in the mid-20th century. >> to tell you why i think he's right about this and why -- what you should think about if you're not as obsessed with this as we are, i just made an announcement today of a commitment by the rockefeller foundation, a remarkable company that handles big data and helped us to manage the aftermath of sandy and employ volunteers to fix it up. and the city of new orleans and the architects who deal with sustainable building. and the big lee insurance company, the headquarters are about ten minutes from my house. these insurance companies have to, you know, make sure the cities get ensured, make sure big countries get ensured.
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they make a living assessing risk this is what they do. they're not liberal or conservative, republican or democrat but they live in an evidence-based world and if they see a big long trend they draw a reasonable conclusion that if they want to stay in business they have to price the risk of insurance based on the long trend. you know all about that. >> rose: he knows something about insurance, doesn't he? >> there's a reason all these insurance companies are telling the cities on the coast they have to build back, build up, dig down, do things to become more sustainable. there's a reason we got a reinsurance company in this deal. they know this is real and we need to plan for it. and reduce the threats. >> rose: you argued from the beginning here data determines. >> yeah. we've got -- >> rose: well, before i -- >> to be fair he was making a
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point that you can't say climate change causes particular storm but you can say it leads to greater intensity and frequency. >> rose: let me speak to that. and i missed the main thrust of your question for which i apologize. for a long time the science technical assistances have said just what we said a minute ago. they're changing, though. they used to say be careful, you can't attribute a single storm to global warming, you have to say that the odds are clanging. now they've begun to shift this. scientists like jim hanson, the people on the leading edge, they are now saying hey, look, with 4% more water vapor in the atmosphere every storm is global warming now. there's a global warming component of every storm. so these fires out in the west, you know, they're predicting in
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many regions of the west a 300, 400, 500, even 600% increase in the meetian area burned with another one or two degrees increased. this report says the increase could be as high as five degrees celsius by the end of this century. this is insane we have quad quadrupled the global population. 80% of the energy powering this economy is based on carbon fuels and yet our way of thinking about the connection between the present and the future has not adjusted to this carbon bubble, this discontinuity, this disruption in the relationship between human civilization and the ecological system of the planet. is this generation has to face up to this challenge. it's the biggest challenge we have ever faced. one of the things i'm so
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grateful for what the clinton global initiative is doing and climate reality and lots of other organizations, there are more than a million new n.g.o.s around the world who are putting their shoulders to the wheel on this. there is now a popular awakening. now legacy powers that be are still trying to keep their fingers in the dike pushing back on the change but the change is coming and it these come and come in washington, d.c. >> rose: we're over time but we haven't had a chance to mention a number of things including conservation and other issues but the central message is here since this is the clinton global initiative i'll give the final word to you. >> well, i think that first of all when al gore and i first met to talk about politics-- i'd run into him before-- he either had just published or was about to public a book.
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we had lunch every week for eight years when we were in the white house unless we are out of the country. and i just want to say i'm grateful for his more than 25 year commitment to this cause because somebody needed to keep up to date on what was going on. we get busy. so of course i'm grateful. secondly, what i tried to do since i got these foundation operations in other countries in other way is to try to find projects that illustrate to people that you can have prosperity, you can have a decent life and still be able to breathe air, drink water, give your kids a broader future and avert the worst consequences of climate change. i just try to figure out how the do this in a way i keep hoping
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there will be a response here and elsewhere that would get more people do these things. sweden passed the world's first conservative climate carbon tax in 1991. a conservative government and what they did was they said here's the price of carbon on our economy, here's your tax, here's your money back. unbelievable. >> rose: and it's popular. >> the swedes said "we trust you." so eli you are your carbon footprint if your museum is $300 a year. here's a tax, pay more tax. i then say "okay, now you know what you're doing, here's your money back." i couldn't make this up, the swedes did this. they said here's your money back what did they do? they grew their economy 50%, lowered their greenhouse gas
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emission, invested all that money in greater energy efficiency and growing the economy so really he persuaded me in '93 we should do a carbon tax and we passed it through the house and couldn't get it through senate but america would be a dramatically different and more stable country today from a climate and energy perspective if our carbon tax in '93 had become law. so i'm glad to be hear what al. i want to have him keep educating the rest of us and those of you who, like me can't bring the time and passion and knowledge to it, you can do a project. you can do five projects. the most encouraging thing to me is how many countries in the middle east now are planning for diversifying their own economies. building solar power and wind power and thinking about a new future. we can all do something here and
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thank you for all your years and -- >> rose: on that note, thank you mr. vice president, thank you, mr. president. (applause)
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